Following the largest rally of his entire campaign, which took place in Brooklyn on Sunday, Bernie Sanders is heading into Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary in New York with a single message aimed at both his supporters and detractors: Don't count him out yet.
Despite a mainstream media narrative questioning his ability to overcome rival Hillary Clinton in New York and beyond, Sanders managed expectations by downplaying recent polling numbers that show him trailing in the Empire State.
"Those are public polls. The bottom line is, let's look at the real poll tomorrow," he said Monday on NBC's "Today Show."
"Generally speaking, polling has underestimated how we do in elections," Sanders said Monday.
Indeed, as University of New Hampshire professor Seth Abramson pointed out in a piece for the Huffington Post on Sunday, the statistics-driven political website FiveThirtyEight "routinely" underestimates primary projections for Sanders, "a fact which sits uncomfortably beside its penchant for publishing articles marginalizing Sanders and his supporters as quixotic."
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And the same may be true of delegate counting. Abramson writes:
1,299 to 1,105.
That’s the “insurmountable” delegate lead Hillary Clinton has over Bernie Sanders.
And there are still 1,674 pledged delegates yet to be awarded in twenty primaries and caucuses to be held over the next two months; scores of up-for-grabs delegates yet to be decided via state and county Democratic conventions; and hundreds and hundreds of super-delegates to be wooed by both candidates in Philadelphia this summer — with not a single one of them having officially committed themselves to anybody.
That’s the cold, hard truth — the indisputable numeric data of the current election cycle — but it’s not the story Americans are being told.
But spin as the media might, nothing could stop a record 28,300 people from attending one of Sanders' signature rallies in Prospect Park on Sunday, where he reminisced about his childhood in nearby Flatbush and told the cheering crowd, "This is a campaign that one year ago was considered a fringe candidacy, 70 points behind Secretary Clinton. They don't consider us fringe anymore."
"This is a campaign that is on the move. With your help on Tuesday we're going to win right here in New York," he said. "This is a campaign that is bringing millions of people into the political process. Working people and young people who are sick and tired of establishment politics and establishment economics. We want a government which represents all of us, not just the 1 percent."